Like many children, I loved to collect money and hoard it.

I would hide my birthday money, extra allowance, car washing money and then bring it out and count it. Although in those days it never amounted to twenty dollars, I loved this ritual. My folks would complement my spending restraint and saving habit, but they soon realized I wasn’t saving it for something. I loved having and counting the bills, over and over.

When it was clear I wasn’t going to reach this realization on my own, they explained to me that money had no intrinsic value. The bills were just paper, well-worn at that. Money only had value when you used it for something that brought someone, yourself, or others, joy.


As I entered my teenage and young adult years, I quickly learned the part of bringing myself joy that the purchase of the latest shiny new thing could bring.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for that joy to wear off, so I repeated, often. By the time I reached maturity, I realized that there wasn’t anything I could purchase, for any amount of money, that could sustain that joy rush for more than a week. That’s when I went back to those stories and examples that I had seen growing up in a church. I thought about all those church people who had such an impact on my life. I thought about the mission trips I had taken and how proud I was of the work we accomplished. I thought about the community we had built in Presbyteens, I thought about the money we had raised for a project and the satisfaction of seeing it come to fruition. Maybe there was something to the bringing joy to others part.

Our current world seems to think that there is a scarcity of everything.

Remember the hoarding during the pandemic? There is a common belief that what we give will somehow deprive us of something (never defined) that we need. The reality shown in the Old Testament to the Israelites is that there is enough manna- if we share it. The reality shown in the New Testament is that there are enough loaves and fishes- if we share them. Scarcity comes with selfishness, not generosity.

Few people enjoy raising money, and I am not among them, so it’s bit ironic that I am the co-chair of Stewardship this year. What I do love is seeing what those moldy old bills can do: How they sustain the church building, provide us with wonderful ministers who expand our understanding of God every week, give this generation of youth life-changing experiences, relieve a mother who is able to get food for her family from our pantry,  connect us with our neighborhood community, and bring us the comfort of being part of a caring Christian family.

So yes, we are asking you to be thoughtful givers and pledge so that the church can plan to continue and expand all these joy-giving activities. In the end, all the manna came from God. It’s up to us if we want to share it.


-Written by Barb Lucks, Co-Chair, Together for Joy Annual Campaign 2024

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  1. Barbara Blanke November 1, 2023 at 11:33 am - Reply

    I love this story and what your parents taught you. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Marilyn & Dick Briggs November 1, 2023 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    This is an absolutely lovely & meaningful message that Barb Lucks has shared with us. She has our admiration & gratitude for leading us in this annual campaign.

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